bronze star recipients vietnam national archives

bronze star recipients vietnam national archives

bronze star recipients vietnam national archives

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Authorized on February 4, 1944, the Bronze Star Medal is awarded to members of all branches of military service. The medal may be awarded either for meritorious service or for combat actions, in which case the “V” device is attached.

Except for the Medal of Honor, the Department of Defense never made centralized lists of persons who were awarded military medals during the Vietnam War. In most cases, the awards were recorded only in each casualty’s personnel records. Since 1991 a team of volunteers have worked thousands of hours creating the Coffelt Database of Vietnam War Casualties. They have pored over books and thousands of documents requested from the government and other sources. The Coffelt Team also records the unit of assignment and circumstances of death.

bronze star recipients vietnam national archives
bronze star recipients vietnam national archives

From 2002 to 2013 the Coffelt database also recorded the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross,

Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star for Valor,

Bronze Star for Meritorious Service or Achievement, Purple Heart, Air Medal, and Good Conduct Medal for each Vietnam War casualty.

During that period The Virtual Wall used the Coffelt database for information about medals.

In August, 2013 The Virtual Wall began keeping its own database for those awards.

We assume some medals that all casualties would have been awarded, specifically the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.

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Many, but not all, casualties had earned the Purple Heart Medal. The death must have been the result of enemy action. Death by sickness or accident, for example, do not qualify for the Purple Heart. Some memorial pages on The Virtual Wall may show a Purple Heart Medal awarded because the casualty had been injured sometime before the incident that caused his death.


When worn on a uniform, multiple awards of a medal are indicated on the medal by adding leaf clusters or numbers to the medal. On The Virtual Wall we can not indicate multiple awards because there would be too many combinations of graphics and the database field for each medal can contain only yes or no, not a count.

The Virtual Wall does not normally show ribbons that would be worn on the right breast pocket, including unit citations and foreign medals. Among the foreign medals that we do not normally show on The Virtual Wall are the Vietnam Gallantry Cross and the Vietnam Military Merit Medal.

Under Department of the Army General Order (DAGO) 43, 1970 the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry was awarded to all military personnel of all branches who served in-country Vietnam between 1 Mar 1961 and 28 Mar 1973 and to U.S. Army Vietnam and its subordinate units for the period 20 Jul 1965 to 28 Mar 1973.

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bronze star recipients vietnam national archives
bronze star recipients vietnam national archives

According to the DAGO 8, 1974 the Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Unit Citation with Palm

was awarded to Headquarters U. S. Military Assistance Command (MACV) and all its subordinate units

during the period 8 Feb 1962 to 28 Mar 1973.

All military personnel who were assigned to units serving in-country Vietnam during this period were considered

assigned to MACV and its subordinate units, regardless of service or component.

More details about the Cross of Gallantry history and award criteria can be found at The American War Library.

In August, 2013 The Virtual Wall began to also record and display the Army Commendation,

Marine Corps and Navy Commendation, and Air Force Commendation medals.

We do not normally show Expert, Sharpshooter, or Marksman badges as they have to be hand edited to add.

Notable recipients

To see the list of Notable recipients click HERE

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